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TNRA: the first 25 years

Early TNRA committee
Not quite the first, but an early TNRA committee meets in the Rectory, Merrick Square
in 1978. left to right: Philip Paul, Paddy Hyams, Lesley Exton, Riki Hyde Chambers (standing), Bryan Oakes, Betty North, Caroline Lamont, Bernard Starkey, Pat Davis,
Bill McCarthy

1976 . . . Following development work by a small group of residents, supported by Southwark Council, TNRA is formed at a meeting in November in St Matthew’s church hall, New Kent Road, chaired by Councillor Arthur Knight . . . Main concern of residents is levels of rent . . . Laszlo Kovats elected first chair of TNRA committee

Jubilee party

Jubilee street party 1977. Contestants assemble for the fancy dress competition. The winner was the Laughing Cavalier (bottom right). Judges included (from the left): Sam Wanamaker, the Mayor of Southwark, Cllr Arthur Knight OBE and Miss Leonie Kelly of Drivers Jonas.

. . . Street party held in June to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee . . . First newsletter issued (two sheets of A4, stencilled and duplicated)

1978 . . . Retired rent officer addresses quarterly meeting about fair rent . . . TNRA survey during redecoration ensures that front doors in Falmouth Road and Cole Street are painted black, as in the squares, in accordance with residents’ wishes . . . First filming takes place in Trinity Church Square: ‘Lillie’ for London Week-end Television . . . TNRA party held in crypt of Henry Wood Hall . . . TNRA deputation goes to Southwark Council traffic sub-committee to ask for a pedestrian crossing in Trinity Street – council promises pedestrian refuges at either side of Trinity Church Square (finally installed in 1980)

1979 . . . Regular meetings begin between TNRA and managing agents, Drivers Jonas (Mr Bishop and Miss Kelly) . . . TNRA surveyor represents three Gloucester Court tenants at a Rent Assessment Committee, which reduces their rent . . . Owls and kestrels spotted in Trinity Church Square

private1980 . . . New ‘traditional’ lamp posts installed in the squares and Trinity Street . . . TNRA representative sits on Community Panel, set up by Southwark Council to get local input into environ-mental issues . . . AGM debates whether gardens in the squares should be open to residents – majority vote against

1981 . . . TNRA boasts membership of 166 households out of 271 on the whole estate . . . Jays seen in Trinity Church Square . . . Council’s draft District Plan designates the area bounded by Borough High Street, New Kent Road and Great Dover Street a ‘traffic sensitive area’, where through traffic should be kept on the boundary roads

1982 . . . TNRA committee discusses with Borough Engineer’s Department how to reduce traffic in Trinity Street . . . Drivers Jonas agree to pay for cost of materials if tenants want to insulate their lofts (council grants are available for the labour costs) . . . Mothers & Babies Group starts regular weekly meetings in Merrick Square rectory  . . . TNRA talks to British Telecom about disturbance from their large vehicles in Falmouth Road . . . September quarterly meeting features crime prevention . . . TNRA asks for more residents’ parking spaces in Cole Street . . . Local councillors Anne Matthews and John Fowler address the AGM

1983 . . . Southwark Council plans cycle route along Trinity Street, which will help to reduce motor traffic . . . At October quarterly meeting, spokesperson invited to talk about Trinity House’s pilotage work encounters vigorous questioning about management of the estate

1984 . . . Mr Liddle and Capt Dickens from Trinity House attend February meeting between TNRA and Drivers Jonas as observers – this arrangement continues annually until 1995 . . . BBC films scenes for Bleak House in Trinity Church Square . . . TNRA arranges ‘Self-defence for Women’ classes with local police . . . Visionhire cable television is withdrawn and Trinity House installs communal aerials for whole estate – one-off connection charge per household is £15

bollards1985 . . . TNRA AGM moves to April  . . . Developer begins work on 4, 5, 6 Trinity Church Square – the first block on the estate to be converted and sold on long leases . . . After pressure from TNRA, Southwark Council installs bollards on pavement edges in Cole Street

1986 . . . Southwark Council organises ward walkabouts with councillors, officers and residents to check traffic, roads, pavements, lights, street cleaning etc . . . Drivers Jonas refuse to let empty properties on short-term leases

1987 . . . At October quarterly meeting, Trevor Wilding from Southwark Council’s traffic department promises that pedestrian phased lights will be installed at the Borough Station junction . . . TNRA responds to government proposals in Housing Bill to abolish protected rents for all new lettings and briefs our MP, Simon Hughes, for committee stage of the bill . . . TNRA party raises funds to help local baby Rosa Ferraro to go to the Peto Institute in Budapest  to have treatment for cerebral palsy . . . Drivers Jonas agree to put notices in communal halls giving details of position of main fuses, stopcocks etc, for emergency use

1988 . . . Local businesspeople Gordon Sabin of Wallins in Cole Street, Joan Amodio of the Swan Street shop, and Graham Harris of F C Harris (Builders) speak at AGM . . . July quarterly meeting features fire prevention

1989 . . . Housing Act 1988 comes into force, introducing assured and assured shorthold tenancies at market rents for all new lettings . . . Barrister from Southwark Law Project explains the Act to quarterly meeting . . . Drivers Jonas tell TNRA that new protected leases will no longer contain the right to assign . . . Cedric Dickens, great grandson of Charles, talks to TNRA quarterly meeting . . . Friends of the Earth tell TNRA that Southwark Council provides only one paper recycling site and eight bottle banks
. . . TNRA sends representative to the Traffic, Transport and Environment Subcommittee of North Southwark Community Development Group to campaign for improvements, such as phased pedestrian lights at Borough Tube Station ... TNRA meets Post Office manager to discuss noise and traffic problems in Cole Street from Swan Street sorting office

1990 . . . Peter Fitzgerald of Trinity Church Square organises a Southwark Stroll, with actors from the estate and their friends portraying characters from Southwark’s past, in aid of the Terrence Higgins Trust . . . TNRA quarterly meeting discusses whether residents would like access to the gardens in the squares – a majority votes for a trial period of opening but Trinity House and Drivers Jonas refuse . . . TNRA surprises Drivers Jonas by counting over 50 empty properties on the estate (out of about 270) . . . TNRA arranges meeting between Cole Street residents and courier firm to discuss problems of noise in the night

1991 . . . TNRA takes part in National Spring Clean week by clearing the waste ground on the west side of Brockham Street . . . Mice and cockroaches are seen on the estate and Drivers Jonas put poison in empty properties . . . Speaker from Southwark Environmental Health Department comes to TNRA quarterly meeting . . . Drivers Jonas refuse to let tenants keep their protected tenancies if they ask to move to another property on the estate . . . TNRA newsletter surveys and samples the local fish and chip shops . . . Drivers Jonas fail to negotiate several rent increases on time and then suggest that tenants have a ‘moral obligation’ to pay backdated rent – TNRA advises against this . . . After Rent Assessment Committee reduces one tenant’s rent on appeal, Drivers Jonas calculate that tenant still owes extra rent – TNRA explains to DJ how to do the calculation

1992 . . . TNRA AGM in Henry Wood Hall is addressed by Paul Strang of Henry Wood Hall Trust and Terry Palmer, manager of the hall . . . TNRA responds to government consultation paper Rent Act tenants: rent increases . . . TNRA asks Drivers Jonas if they will open the estate office in the evening once a week – DJ refuse, but offer to open at 8.30 am once a month from October . . . In October, DJ relocate staff to head office and open Trinity Street office on Monday and Friday mornings only, though retaining 8.30 opening once a month . . . Sam Wanamaker talks to quarterly meeting about construction of the Globe Theatre . . . Council tax bandings, to come into force in April 1993, are announced – TNRA advises residents how to appeal . . . TNRA newsletter samples take-away pizzas

1993 . . . After several years pressure by TNRA to get badly peeling lamp posts repainted, Southwark Council says that it is the estate’s turn this year in a seven-year cycle . . . TNRA arranges training on presenting a case at a Rent Assessment Committee hearing . . . TNRA protests to Drivers Jonas about allowing filming in TCS for three consecutive nights, without consulting residents – DJ promise not to permit filming after midnight again . . . TNRA committee meets Southwark Council planner to discuss open spaces in the area, particularly Dickens Square and Harper Road . . . TNRA co-ordinates appeals by 27 members against council tax valuations . . . Woollard Smith & Associates show residents their first proposals for converting the empty Wallins factory in Cole Street into flats . . . Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 gives long leaseholders of blocks of flats the rights to buy their freehold collectively or to extend their leases . . . TNRA helps London Wildlife Trust to tidy the wildlife area in Dickens Square

1994 . . . Drivers Jonas/Trinity House agree to give residents keys to Merrick Square garden for a trial period . . . TNRA quarterly meeting takes place at Raj Bilash restaurant for cookery demonstration and food sampling . . . TNRA asks Drivers Jonas whether satellite dishes can be added to the communal TV aerial system and for a list of which properties are connected to the system (this was never found) . . . DJ offer TNRA an empty flat to use for storage and meetings (deemed by committee not to be suitable) . . . TNRA representatives attend Southwark Council’s traffic subcommittee and ask again for pedestrian crossing in Trinity Street . . . Cllr Steve Lancashire shows quarterly meeting plans for improving traffic management in Trinity Street, including pedestrian crossing (installed outside number 66 in 1995) . . . Valuation officer inspects properties and reduces council tax banding for 21 of the 27 properties in TNRA’s appeal . . . Tom Amodio from the Swan Street shop plays Father Christmas at TNRA children’s Christmas party

book sale1995 . . . Daniel Smith, with Julian Briant as the responsible partner, take over from Drivers Jonas as estate managers on 1 April and begin a thorough inspection of the properties . . . Trinity Street office is opened only on Monday mornings, or by appointment . . . Following negotiations with TNRA, Valuation Officer reduces council tax bandings for a further 81 properties on the estate, saving residents up to £250 per year . . . Speed tables are installed in Falmouth Road . . . Videotron lay cables for television in Swan Street, Cole Street and Falmouth Road . . . First TNRA book sale held in Trinity Church Square . . . Amodios’ shop in Swan Street closes

1996 . . . Three houses in TCS are offered for sale and refurbishment . . . TNRA complains to Daniel Smith about state of gardens . . . Southwark Council’s proposals for improved parking scheme include more residents’ parking spaces on the estate, as requested by TNRA (never implemented) . . . Daniel Smith tell TNRA that there is no demand from incoming tenants for long leases . . . 100 residents return TNRA questionnaire and information is collated about the pattern of occupation on the estate, showing considerable long-term occupancy and desire to remain for a long time on the part of many tenants . . . Simon Hughes chairs well-attended meeting with Richard Dobb of Trinity House and Daniel Smith at which there are some heated exchanges about estate policy . . . TNRA meet Traffic Director for London to discuss traffic problems in Trinity Street and possible solution with ‘red routes’ in Great Dover Street and Borough High Street . . . TNRA represents seven protected tenants at Rent Assessment Committee (RAC) hearing

1997 . . . Trinity House appeals to High Court against RAC decision, which is quashed in December – TNRA briefs barrister to represent tenants – case is reheard in 1998 . . . Daniel Smith merges with Cluttons to form Cluttons Daniel Smith (CDS) . . . TNRA joins protest to save ‘dog park’ on Swan Street/Harper Road corner from sale by Southwark Council for redevelopment along with Brockham Street/Harper Road site . . . CDS allow residents access to Trinity Church Square garden as well as Merrick Square . . . Trinity Arms closes

1998 . . . Southwark Council presents provisional proposals for traffic calming, including closure of Trinity Street . . . Planning applications are made for developments in Swan Street (on site of former PO sorting office), Falmouth Road (on former British Telecom site) and Brockham Street/Harper Road corner (on former temporary court site) . . . TNRA advises tenants with 9-year assured leases about rent negotiation and arbitration by ‘expert’ surveyor . . . TNRA takes part in first London Garden Square Day with Garden Fête in Merrick Square . . . Cluttons Daniel Smith turns into Cluttons . . . TNRA represents ten protected tenants at two Rent Assessment Committee hearings and succeeds in arguing that there is scarcity of similar accommodation, thus achieving rents well below those asked by Cluttons . . . TNRA holds meeting for long leaseholders (now occupying over 50 properties on the estate) with Cluttons . . . Management of long leaseholds moves to Cluttons Tower Bridge office . . . Richard Dobb of Trinity House and Julian Briant attend TNRA committee meeting – asked about the empty Trinity Arms, Mr Dobb says that Trinity House would like to see it let as ‘some kind of hostelry’ . . . TNRA holds classical concert in Henry Wood Hall, with ‘Sounds Lyrical’ performing Abendlieder . . . TNRA and CDS send out joint notice reminding residents about rubbish collection days

1999 . . . 22 Trinity Street (next door to the Trinity Arms) is renovated to let after being empty for 25 years . . . Trinity Church Square features on BBC TV’s ‘House Detectives’ programme . . . Local musicians ‘The Jazz Pilgrims’ play at TNRA Jazz Evening in Henry Wood Hall crypt . . . Government introduces regulations to cap increases in registered rents (then temporarily overturned by High Court, but finally confirmed in 2001) . . . Trinity House ask Cluttons to draw up guidelines for requests for filming after residents block proposal to film over Easter holiday period . . . TNRA Christmas concert in Henry Wood Hall is a performance of excerpts from ‘The Messiah’ . . . TNRA representatives attend local forums on regeneration at Bankside and Elephant & Castle
2000 . . . Cluttons tell TNRA that they have failed to let the Trinity Arms and intend to convert it to residential use . . . TNRA works with Southwark Council and Cluttons to try to eliminate household rubbish on doorsteps and pavements except on collection day – Cluttons supply new bins and council supply wheelie bins where appropriate . . . Simon Hughes MP asks Trinity House for details about types on tenancy on the estate and this information is given to TNRA also . . . TNRA responds to government consultation about private sector housing . . . TNRA gains lottery grant of £3,525 to produce information pack . . . Southwark Council holds meeting in Henry Wood Hall to display plans for closure of Trinity Street . . . TNRA protests to council after another exhibition, by consultants about parking proposals, disappoints because they appear not to have been briefed about street closure plans . . . TNRA committee sets up system of subgroups in order to involve more members on particular topics . . . TNRA membership cards are introduced as receipts for subscriptions . . . Cluttons install boosters to improve television reception . . . TNRA Christmas card, depicting Trinity Church Square in the snow, proves popular . . . TNRA conducts survey of wildlife on the estate . . . Meeting for long leaseholders reveals dissatisfaction with management fees, financial information and level of service . . . TNRA survey reveals interest in free communal bike sheds . . . After Cluttons cause confusion by changing bank account, TNRA attempts to help them and tenants to find the lost payments

2001 . . . TNRA arranges meeting between long leaseholders and Cluttons partner Janie Strange . . . Southwark Council says that there is no money to alter the parking scheme . . . TNRA conducts survey to ascertain members’ wishes about social events . . . Cluttons locate property manager Derek Brown in Trinity Street office Monday to Friday to supervise repairs and all other Cluttons staff move to St John’s Wood office . . . TNRA buys tables and marquees for residents to borrow and uses them at Garden Fête in June . . . TNRA Wine Club holds first wine tasting evening . . . TNRA works with Southwark Community Recycling to introduce a doorstep paper recycling scheme on the estate and to start trial composting schemes with wormeries . . . TNRA hosts free performance of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew by bold & saucy theatre company in Merrick Square . . . In November TNRA holds 25th anniversary concert in Henry Wood Hall.

The oldest TNRA member, Eddie Deeks, cuts the anniversary cake, watched by TNRA chair Ali Walker and youngest member Alfie.

18 October 2017  » Sign In